Wednesday 25 August 2010

Tweet Inspiration

When you're stuck for something to tweet, take a look down the list below and something should inspire you!

Feel free to add more suggestions as comments too.


  1. 'Did you know?' facts about your cause
  2. An upcoming event
    • When is it?
    • Where is it?
    • Who will be there?
    • What's it for?
    • What's the aim?
  3. Your aims & objectives
    • How much money do you need to raise?
    • What is your mission?
    • How do you intend to get there?
    • How did you get started?
    • Why did you get started?
  4. The people involved
    • Trustees, your president or chairman, celebrities
    • Founders
    • Friends & Supporters
    • Sponsors
    • Say hello to new followers
    • Say thank you to re-tweeters
    • Facebook Fans
  5. News
    • Breaking news - what's just happened?
    • Are you in local or national press?
    • Has someone else tweeted about you? 
    • Articles relevant to your cause
    • Articles relevant to your location
    • Articles relevant to your followers
  6. Website
    • Your website address
    • Updates to your website
    • Link to Facebook page
  7. Images
    • Post publicity photos via TwitPic or YFrog
    • Old photos
    • Press images
    • Artist impressions
    • Photos of people
    • Photos of events
    • New logo or branding
  8. Fundraising
    • How much do you need to raise?
    • How much have you got so far?
    • How people are raising money
    • easyfundraising link
    • easysearch link
    • How people can help
    • Link to donation website or page
    • Link to online shops
    • How much was raised
  9. Ask a Question, then reply
    • 'What do you want to know about us?'
    • 'What would you like to see on our website?'
    • 'What events would you be interested in attending?'
    • 'How would you raise awareness for us?'
  10. Use #hashtags 
    • Get involved in #charitytuesday
    • Recommend for #followfriday
    • Or even #followmonday (#followtuesday, #followwednesday...)
  11. Use occasions
    • Say Happy Birthday
    • Merry Christmas
    • Happy New Year
    • Happy Easter
    • Happy Valentines Day
  12. Help others
    • Fundraising ideas
    • Re-tweet other causes' messages
    • Useful websites
    • Useful blog posts
    • Useful software
  13. Be personal
    • What kind of day are you having?
    • What's the weather like?
    • Are you going anywhere?
    • Have you been anywhere?
    • What are you doing today?
  14. Ask followers to help spread your message

I am not suggesting that you take this list, sit down at your computer and tweet all of it in one go - as this will probably lose you some followers! But if you haven't tweeted for a while and have a bit of 'tweeters block' take a look down the list, choose one and tweet away.

Wednesday 18 August 2010

Boost awareness with Twitter

Now that your website is sorted it's time to start getting people to visit it.

Twitter is a micro-blogging tool. It gives you 140 characters to tell people what you are doing, what you're looking at, how you're feeling, what you're thinking about. It's a quick and easy way to update your site and keep people informed without having to write whole blog posts.

I have previously covered how to use Twitter so I won't repeat it here, but here are some suggestions on ways to make the most of your Twitter account.

1. Find people

Spend some time searching for people who will help spread your message or that you want to speak to. If you are looking for sponsorship follow local businesses. Find people involved with the cause that already tweet who will re-tweet your messages. Find your local press to help promote events.

2. Talk to people
You can either send people a private message (Direct Message) or you can tweet @ someone, which everyone can see. Twitter is about building relationships, so spend time talking to people - even if it has nothing directly to do with your cause!

3. RT people
In Twitterland RT means re-tweet, and there is a button available for you to quickly RT a tweet you find interesting. This is a quick and easy way of getting useful news and information to your followers.

4. Don't spam people
Don't write the same tweet over and over, yes you want people to visit your website, but telling them to visit your site every 5 minutes is one of the quickest ways to lose followers! If you add a news article, tweet that with a link to the article. Every now and then tell new followers about your aims. This doesn't mean to say you shouldn't repeat ever, for example if you are running an event tweet about different aspects of it, who will be there, when does it start, where will it be, what's the theme. Remember different people will be on Twitter at different times.

5. Keep it up
You don't need to tweet once an hour, but you should try to keep it regular, one good tweet a day is better than 24 'visit my website' tweets. To begin try spending 10 mins a day writing a tweet, finding one tweet to RT and looking for new people to follow. As you get to know Twitter and can see benefits you may decide to spend more time on it.

Wednesday 11 August 2010

8 Features of Accessible Websites (Part 2)

This is the third post in our 'Social Media 4 Non Profit' series, and the second part of 8 Features of Accessible Websites.

Last week we looked at:
  1. making sure your website works in any browser
  2. that it can be navigated & used without a mouse
  3. that text can still be read when resized
  4. that audio & visual content is available in alternative formats
This week, I have a few questions for you to ask yourself.

5. Is a list of all pages available?
Somewhere on your website there should be a list of all of the pages on your site so that visitors can, at a glance, see all of your content and click directly to the page they want. This is often called a Site Map, or could be a Table of Contents or similar.

As well as helping with accessiblity, it also lends a hand to helping boost your search engine rankings, as each page has a guaranteed link back to it. Plus it can help the little 'Google Bots' discover every page on your site to give you a greater chance of being found.

6. Do your links make sense out of context?
Imagine you are skimming through a website and all you can see (or hear) are the words that link somewhere else.... now if all you get are 'click here', 'this link', 'read more', 'here', you don't get much of an idea of where you will get to if you do 'click now'.

Try to make sure that your link text tells people where they are going. For example, in the following sentence 'Find out more about us' link the text 'about us'. Link news article headlines to the full article, rather then (or as well as) a 'Read More' link.

7. Do images have descriptions?
For every image that adds to the content of the website, for example a diagram or map, you should have 'alternate text' and/or a long description available that tells people what's going on in the picture. This is needed for people with poor visibility as the description will be read to them, for people who may have images turned off, or if for some reason your image is no longer available. Again, it can also help with search engines as Google can pick up the images on your website to display within their image serach results.

8. Is your code valid?
A little bit on the technical side, but valid code is good practice and will make sure there are no mistakes. A missing comma or end bracket can mean your site won't work at all. There are checks you can run on your website to see how valid your website code is.

Again it will also help with search engine positions, making sure the search engines have the right information available, it helps with browser compatibility, and all of the accessibility guidelines I haven't yet mentioned.

This isn't the be-all and end-all guide to accessibility, but it's a step in the right direction and the very minimum you should be doing to ensure your site is accessible. For more information on the full guidelines visit the W3C Website.

Wednesday 4 August 2010

8 Features of Accessible Websites (Part 1)

Welcome to the second part of our 'Social Media 4 Non Profit' series.

This week we'll be looking at accessibility, making sure that when you do drive traffic to your website your visitors can get to the information they need. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) launched a Web Accessibility Initiative with the aim of ensuring that all web content is available to users regardless of technology, disability or ability. This had lead to the development of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or WCAG.

In this post we will highlight 4 of the 8 features that we feel are most important for ensuring your website is accessible.

1.Your website works in any browser
Accessibility doesn't necessarily mean that users can't use a mouse or need bigger text, it can be as simple as making sure your website works in a wide selection of web browsers. All browsers render your website slightly differently, and even a few pixels can make a huge difference to the accessibility of your website.

As an example, we developed a website that had white text on top of a blue menu background. In Firefox and Internet Explorer it looked great, but in Safari the white text had dropped from the blue menu background onto the white page background so users couldn't navigate from the home page, making the site unaccessible to anyone using an Apple Mac.

2. Your website can be navigated and used without a mouse
Some of your visitors may be visiting your website without a mouse - either they are unable to, or their mouse may be broken or they may be on a mobile device, so you need to check that your website can still be used. Try going through your website using the TAB, SHIFT+TAB and ENTER or RETURN keys on your keyboard. If it can't be done visitors who cannot use a mouse will not be able to access your website content.

3. The text on your website can still be read when made bigger
Again, this isn't just for people who have problems with their sight, but also for people who are using a netbook perhaps or have changed their browser settings. Each browser allows users to set their preferred text size, so you need to check that your website will still be legible if the text size has been doubled and that menus are still usable.

4. Audio content is also available visually (and vice versa)
Surprise, surprise - it's not just those with hearing and sight disabilities that would like alternative content formats. Maybe speakers are broken or a computer doesn't have a sound card, providing a transcript of an interview or subtitles to a video clip can help everyone. Likewise someone with dyslexia may prefer to listen to an interview rather than read it, so either provide an alternative format or ensure that the content can be easily read by screen readers.

It's all about your audience
We could go into much more detail about accessibility (and it may be a future series perhaps!) but this post is intended to highlight 4 of the basic areas that should be considered. Your target audience (for example a non-profit dance group will have a totally different audience to a charity supporting blind people) will determine how far you need to follow the guidelines - just remember it's your audience you need to please!

If you feel there is anything I have missed or should add please comment below, all feedback is welcome and it would be great to make this series a comprehensive information resource.

Monday 2 August 2010

July Round Up

July saw the launch of a brand new website for Picseli. Developed in a content management system to allow for quick and easy updates. We have condensed and updated our information and kept the site clean and simple t navigate. We are pelased with it and hope you like it too.

We have also spent time working with the TREAT Trust Wales to enhance their online presence to help them raise the funds they need to build a treatment centre by Morriston Hospital. This has so far involved updating the their website and developing a social media plan, including a Facebook page, Twitter account, easyfundraising and amazon associates accounts.

This has led to us starting a 'Social Media 4 Non Profit' blog series to help other non-profit organisations use the internet to raise their profile, with a new blog post every Wednesday.